Dr (Mrs) Franca Awurum is a seasoned professional . She is easily one of the most distinguished female practitioners of Optometry in Nigeria today. She has contributed so much to the training of many and has remained solid in her defense of the cause of the profession against all odds. She was an active member of the committee that produced the current scheme of service for optometrists in the nation’s civil service. She is currently, Consultant Optometrist and Assistant Director at the Eye Clinic of the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Ojo, Lagos.
Franca Awurum bagged the Bachelor of Science in Optometry from the University of Benin, Benin City in 1986. She graduated from Abia State University, Uturu with the Doctor of Optometry (O.D) in 1994 and later proceeded to the University of Calabar where she earned the Master of Public Health (M.PH) degree in 2006. She bagged the ultimate qualification of Fellow of the Nigerian College of Optometrists (FNCO) with specialty in Public Health Optometry in 2006.
She completed the mandatory NYSC programme at the Eye Clinic of the Nigerian Airforce Medical Centre, Ikeja, Lagos in 1987. A year after, she was offered a formal appointment and posted to the Eye Clinic of the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Ojo where she is still working till date. She has been instrumental to the grooming of many aspiring optometrists as well as the absorption of optometry graduates for internship and NYSC programmes at several Navy hospital across the nation.
Dr Awurum has served the Nigerian Optometric Association in several distinguished capacities. She was the association’s vice president (West) between 1998 and 2001, and member of the Disciplinary Committee. She has been the chairman of the Continuing Education Committee since 2011. She is a pioneer member of the Women Optometrist in Nigeria (WON) and also the incumbent Secretary to the Faculty of Public Health Optometry of the National Council for Optometry (NCO).
Her closet is brimming with several awards of honour including the Lagos State NYSC Merit Award (1987), the Nigerian Navy Hospital Merit Award of Excellence (1997) and the Role Model Optometrist of the year (2011). In her spare time, she takes to reading, singing, travelling, cooking, playing chess and sewing.
A devout Christian of the Catholic faith, she is married to Dr. Alex Awurum and blessed with a son named Jude . It was in recognition of her accomplishments in optometry that PSR Magazine honoured her with The Woman of Merit Gold Award in 2015.